A Socialist’s Response to The Greatest American Scoundrel Show (Presidential Debates)
For the record, I wouldn't normally even watch The Greatest American Scoundrel Show, otherwise known as the “Historic Presidential Debates,” but, like it or not, I am running for Vice President of the USA on a Socialist (Peace and Freedom) ticket. There was an “alternative debate” on Democracy, Now! last night, but, even though Candidates Rocky Anderson (Justice Party) and Jill Stein (Green Party) are left of the Blue Tie and Red Tie Scoundrels, who are given a national forum, they are still both Capitalists. I believe that either Anderson or Stein would be better than Red Tie or Blue Tie, but the Socialist solution is the perfect one, in my opinion.
Before The Show began, the onomatopoeia pundit, David Gergen (his voice sounds like he is “gerg-“ ling), said that, “Style counts in these debates.” Of course, “style counts,” because the idea that a different color tie makes a difference in substance is absurd. The average USAian is all about style and the choice is going to come down to the “lesser of two Scoundrels,” and I am not willing to settle for that.
I am not going to do a piece based on “fact checking,” because, to me, it doesn’t matter if Blue Tie or Red Tie got their facts wrong or correct, because whatever they say is fundamentally flawed to begin with. Similarly, I am not going to judge, which Stylist was victorious (but it seems that the consensus from the left-right is that the Red Tie won), because in November no matter whom you vote for and no matter which color tie is inaugurated, the 99% will lose.
So here are my responses to the few questions that the Ties were asked:
The first question, from a strangely black-eyed Lehrer, was: “What are the major differences between you two on how you would create jobs.”
Blue Tie went first and went on a long rant on how his presidency has basically been a failure at this, but of course, blaming (with some verity) the Red Tie that went before him. However, give Blue Tie another four years with failed policies and things will get better this time, he swears it on a stack of holy Federal Reserve Notes. ("I really mean it this time, Baby"). Then Red Tie talked a lot about “middle income” people. Both Ties talked a lot about the “Middle Class.” Well, the term “Middle Class” is a ruling class diversion from the fact that the USA has the widest (and growing wider) income disparity in the so-called industrial world. That’s an inconvenient fact that the Scoundrels don’t want us to know, now isn’t it?
The platform of the Peace and Freedom Party calls for 40 hours pay for a 30-hour workweek with NO mandatory overtime to approach full employment with Union wages and a Basic Guaranteed Income (BGI) for income security. Also, the Socialist solution would be to put the means of production into the hands of the workers and transform production to “need based” not “greed based." Also, end “free” trade agreements that harm workers in all countries and have little protections for workers’ rights or the environment. Both Red Tie and Blue Tie are in favor of the disastrous Trans-Pacific Pact (TPP), which would further destroy the working class, yet enrich the ownership class. True and positive change requires big and bold ideas, not reform of the old and corrupt paradigms already in place.
The next question was about “reducing the deficit” and this is also an easy one for me. Trillions of dollars have been spent on the US War OF Terror against the world since 9/11/2001 and the Military Industrial Complex is sucking the economy dry with its murderous greed. The wars should come to a speedy end and the bases that the Empire maintains around the world should be closed and our military should be reduced to the size where it can be “drowned in a bathtub.” Our platform also calls for the end to the CIA and other alphabet agencies that wreak havoc at home and abroad. And this leads to the next question. There are PLENTY of wealth and resources in this nation but the national priorities are way out of whack…a re-prioritization of programs would render the next question unnecessary.
The Ties were asked about how they feel about “Entitlements.” This is also an easy one for we Socialists to handle. What almost everyone, regardless of income status here in the USA, call “entitlements” the rest of the world calls, “human rights.”
Along with our students, our elders are being asked to shoulder an increasingly heavy burden to maximize profits for people like The Ties and their friends. Retiring with dignity at an age young enough to enjoy retirement and where needs are provided by a grateful community is a human right, not an entitlement, and one which is earned not stolen.
Healthcare is also an issue that The Ties fundamentally agree on, but one that couldn’t be more different in a Socialist planned economy. We call for a National Healthcare Plan that means “everyone in, no one out:” Quality healthcare for everyone with no opt-out for the wealthy. (In our planned economy, the disparity between the rich and the poor would evaporate and the wealth that belongs to all would be more evenly distributed, anyway). Many countries poorer than ours have successful National Healthcare systems and we demand no less. A National Healthcare system would create jobs, lower healthcare costs and would provide Medicare for all. Seniors and veterans would also be equally assured access and the VA system would no longer be needed (and this would also remove one of the problems that motivates many young people to join the service: lack of access to quality healthcare).
The penultimate question to The Ties was: “What do you see as the fundamental role of the government?” Blue Tie opened with, “keeping Americans safe.” Boo! The current real role of the US government is being subservient to all the greeds of the 1%: Wall Street, the Military Industrial Complex, Banksters, Big Pharma, Big Ag, Big Energy…and Blue Tie has done a great job serving the real Masters; Red Tie would also excel.
In a Socialist system, the essential role of government is to protect Civil Rights and ensure Human Rights. Blue Tie has been the most aggressive presidential abrogator of both Civil and Human Rights, yet he said that the “genius of America is freedom and the free enterprise system.” What, freedom for the few and slavery for the many? True freedom is to be free from the government interfering with our prosperity and peace by intervening to protect the interests of the ruling class.
The final question, (thank Jeebus) was asking The Ties how they would break government ‘gridlock.” Again, from The Ties I heard a lot of “blah, blah, blah.” Blue Tie was even “gridlocked” when he had a vast majority of other Blue Ties "serving" in his first two years of office.
“Gridlock” is a problem that would not exist in a Socialist system where decisions for OUR lives, OUR workplaces, OUR economy, OUR environment, OUR security, OUR communities belong to ALL OF US, not just an oligarchy that has anointed themselves as our “lords and protectors.”
Red Tie and Blue Tie are “by and for” the one-percenters because, after all, they are one-percenters. Trust what I am about to say to you: Neither Red Tie or Blue Tie give a crap about you, your family, or your community—but you know who does? YOU!
It's about 236 years past time to take control of OUR lives into our hands—notice how I don’t say, “back into our hands?” We the People have never had control in this putative oligarchy called the USA.
However, make no mistake about it, either Blue Tie or Red Tie will ascend to the thrown of Protector of the One-Percent in November and the rest of us will lose, again. It’s a dance as old as this nation, but Election Day is only one day out of the year.
Dr. Benjamin Spock who ran for president with the Peace and Freedom Party in 1972 once said, “For us, it’s not about the next election, but the next generation.”
To the barricades of resistance, my brothers and sisters, for the next generation!